Engaging in a programmatic advertising initiative presents advertisers an opportunity to reach targeted audiences who aren’t searching for their brand or offerings at scale. These platforms and networks provide marketers the ability to cast a wide net to promote their products and services, unique value propositions, and content to the right people, at the right time. And while the number of placements, impressions available, and intention for marketers to spend in this space continues to grow, we continue to see agency clients and brand partners alike approach their programmatic advertising budgets without clear campaign objectives.
Starting with an objective is the first step towards campaign design and success. Next is finding a way to effectively prove the value of your campaign, which can be as important as running the campaign itself. Understanding and utilizing an appropriate attribution model must be a part of that tracking plan whenever a programmatic or display component is used in your marketing strategy. Without an effective tracking plan in place, marketers are left in the dark about whether their efforts swam or sank.
We’ll dive into five campaign objectives to start with before launching your next programmatic advertising campaign.
1. Driving Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is typically the most straightforward objective to build a campaign around from a targeting standpoint, but the most difficult to track from a performance standpoint. Utilizing programmatic and display networks available can be a productive way to drive brand awareness.
Driving impressions on a cost-per-impression pay model provides the opportunity to get your name and logo shared at scale with potential customers who aren’t proactively searching for your brand or the solution you offer.
As marketers, we can effectively segment audience types, value propositions, calls to action, and marketing creative to see what resonates before rolling out complementing marketing campaigns across other online and offline channels.
Monitoring your direct traffic levels and organic branded keyword impressions over time (through Google Analytics or Google Trends) can point to the effectiveness of your brand awareness efforts.
2. Introducing New Products and Services
If you’ve got a new product or service in the wings, detailing a targeted campaign around launch can yield huge results.
We’ve seen two different types of success around this objective. Brands who have already earned customer loyalty and recognition can further boost engagement with their brand around new, not yet on the market offerings. Conversely, lesser-known brands (typically start-ups and emerging brands) with a product or service line positioned ahead of search volume, tend to find success in the display space.
Understanding that potential customers aren’t searching for your new product or service yet is an indicator to trigger your display efforts. Since these campaigns are contextually targeted and not dependent on search volume, programmatic advertising campaigns offer marketers a way to promote their brand before pertinent search volumes catch up.
3. Promoting Premium Content
This campaign objective typically lives in the B2B space, where long-term content marketing pieces like ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars are more commonly utilized. And while consumers typically aren’t actively searching for these pieces of content, having the opportunity to download, read, and share your premium content driven through a display ad and click is a viable campaign objective.
The key to this objective is having a piece (or pieces) of premium content to promote. Yes, it truly needs to be premium. If your content isn’t thoughtful, innovative, or highly actionable, keep it away from your programmatic advertising campaign budget.
Promoting your unique and compelling content through display advertising is probably your best chance as a marketer for direct response in terms of earning a conversion point in the programmatic space. When produced effectively, we have seen profitable conversion rates spurred by targeted campaign parameters, thoughtfully designed landing pages, and compelling content worth of a lead form completion.
When putting this type of campaign together, it tends to bring potential customers into the top of your marketing funnel and they’ll need more time and information before entering your sales pipeline.
4. Driving Event Awareness
If you have an event on the horizon, strategically spending on display networks can drive attendance numbers when search demand is low. Most likely, the demand and search volume available will not be large enough to drive meaningful interest for your event. However, with the detailed geographic targeting available on display networks, segmenting your audience is a straightforward way to complement your other event marketing initiatives.
Akin to a brand awareness initiative, digital advertising through a programmatic platform can provide a productive means to test event value propositions and creative before rolling those learnings out to other offline marketing campaigns.
5. Building a Remarketing Pool
Remarketing through search, display, and social mediums can be one of the most productive bottom of the funnel conversion drivers for digital marketers. Returning website visitors are typically more likely to engage and convert at higher rates than first-time visitors to your site.
Engaging in a programmatic advertising campaign to drive visitors to your site for the first time provides digital marketers a means to effectively pool, segment, and then remarket. If you’re struggling to drive enough visitors to your site to build effective remarketing pools, consider a display campaign.
Not only can you benefit from the brand awareness objectives outlined earlier, but the large (and generally low cost to acquire) number of visitors you can drive at scale also presents the opportunity to build effective and sophisticated remarketing campaigns targeting potential consumers closer to the bottom of your funnel.
Growing the Top of the Funnel
Through the five objectives outlined, you’ll notice that with the exception of possibly exchanging an email address or lead form (when done really, really well) for a premium piece of content, no other objective and campaign goal is centered on driving a conversion-based event. Nothing here remotely touches driving direct revenue or an SQL from your programmatic advertising campaign efforts.
The use of display advertising is all about driving the top of your marketing funnel; it’s about creating first-touch engagement with your brand. When that understanding is held through your marketing organization and there is a clear tracking plan with an objective in place, the use of display networks can be a powerful medium to complement your ongoing strategy.
As the VP of marketing services, Chad is responsible for leading Portent’s marketing, sales, and services teams. He is dedicated to ensuring clients receive top-notch service and results, and is continually looking for ways to improve and expand Portent's expertise. When not at Portent, you can find Chad hiking, skiing, playing soccer, and spending time with his family.